Category Archive: Arm Chair Critic – The Joy of reviewing a book

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” Mark Twain

Jun 07

Embracing the Ordinary: Lessons From the Champions of Everyday Life – Michael Foley

Michael Foley is fast becoming a personal favourite. If “The Age of Absurdity” was a pleasant surprise, “Embracing The Ordinary” has been nothing short of a revelation. Inspired by Marcel Proust and James Joyce – terming both the ‘high priests of low life’ – Foley proceeds to highlight the myriad emotions, opportunities and joys unearthed …

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Jun 07

Dunkirk: Fight To The Last Man – Hugh Sebag-Montefiore

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore in this stirring and meticulously researched account, narrates the gallantry, grit and gumption of the British Expeditionary Forces (“BEF”) in their fierce albeit futile defense of France from rampaging German forces, before a miraculous evacuation back to British shores via Dunkirk. What makes this 75th Anniversary Edition an absolutely must have is the …

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Jun 07

The Age Of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard To Be Happy – Michael Foley

The modern world is all about conformity. A conformity to material trappings, a conformity to rigid norms, a stereotypical conformity with behaviour forming part of the zeitgeist of the age. The very gestalt of life has become a compliance with conformity. This is so very absurd, that it has become fashionable to conform to absurdity …

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May 28

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

The master of the macabre sets aside his chosen genre of craft and instead devotes himself to introspecting the tenets that lead to a writer accomplishing his objectives. The result is a marvelous quasi memoir; part tutelage on the art of professional authoring. Extremely readable and extraordinarily candid (Stephen King writes without inhibitions of the …

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May 28

Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami

Reading Haruki Murakami is like sampling the Durian. For the uninitiated, the Durian is an obnoxious smelling, even more obnoxious tasting, ravaged and ugly textured fruit which is glorified as the “King of Fruits” in South East Asia. There are only two categories of homo sapiens when it comes to the Durian. Those who are …

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May 28

The Sins of the Father (The Clifton Chronicles #2) – Jeffrey Archer

The saga of the Cliftons and the Barringtons surges ahead in Jeffrey Archer’s sequel to the bestselling “Only Time Will Tell”. Tom Bradshaw awakens on board a ship after narrowly escaping death when “Devonian”, the ship on which he was employed gets torpedoed by the Nazis. However a shock is awaiting Bradshaw as the moment …

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May 28

Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles #1) – Jeffrey Archer

Intrigue, ambition and treachery. Jeffrey Archer’s first volume of the Clifton Chronicles has a story line that is racy, a plot that is complex and a conclusion that will leave you scrambling to lay hands on the second volume. Harry Clifton leads a dreary and impoverished existence with a hardworking mother Maisie Clifton, an inebriated …

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May 28

End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3) – Stephen King

The Bill Hodges trilogy reaches the apogee of mystery with the “End of Watch”. A racy thriller, “End Of Watch” has Retired Detective William (“Bill”) Hodges coming face to face with his nemesis Brady Hartsfield in a manner that is mystifying, Macabre and malignant. Brady Hartsfield also known as The “Mercedes Killer” for having infamously …

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May 28

The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India’s Young – Somini Sengupta

Taking recourse to seven diverse real life stories or rather strenuous struggles, Somini Sengupta reveals the arc of paradigm shift that is catapulted Indian into the forefront of global capitalism and economic development. An India that surges ahead with optimism, outlook, drive – a far cry from the sordid environment the author herself experienced in …

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Apr 29

Endurance: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Emil Zátopek (Wisden Sports Writing) – Rick Broadbent

Grit, Gumption and Greatness. These were the three infallible attributes of the man voted by the Runners World Magazine as the Greatest Runner of All Time. Setting a slew of world records (18 in total), achieving the incredible treble victories (5000 metres; 10,000 metres and the Marathon) at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, and leaving …

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